Girls Season 4: So Hannah Horvath (Lena Dunham) is growing up, right?

Girls Season 4 Finale Hannah Adam Incubator

Watched the fourth-season finale of Girls last night; oddly enough, I did so right after watching a TED Talk. I doubt there are many people out there with penises who have gone from watching a TED Talk to watching an episode of Girls, but you know, I’m a fairly unique person. I’ve been watching Girls since the jump — again, not sure how many people out there with penises fall into that category either — and I’ve had thoughts along the way of various ilk, some good and some really dumb. Their season finales tend to be pretty good, though; here’s what I wrote when Season 3 ended. After last night’s ended, I spent about 20 minutes on Google and Twitter looking up various shit. I generally think that’s a good sign about whether an episode resonated with a viewer — if the viewer decides, rather than flipping to another show or doing something else entirely, to go and research themes and aspects of the show they just watched. Isn’t that what all artists want? Discussion and discourse? OK, I’m probably getting a bit too deep here.

If you want much smarter takes on the Season 4 finale of Girls, read this (WaPo) or this (Slate). For my thoughts, just look on down below.

  • Adam Driver and Season 5: This terrifies me, because Adam Driver has been the breakout star of this show, IMHO. He’s off and doing his Star Wars thing now. I didn’t actually think he’d been in Season 4 that much, but he was here and there. But after their full-on breakup (the hand over the incubator!) and the flash-forward to Hannah and Fran, well … what could Adam’s role be? A foil for Fran? Kinda interesting, but might feel like a different version of Desi and Ray.
  • Ray and Marnie: I get that Ray vs. Desi and Hannah vs. Mimi-Rose were supposed to be “polar opposite studies” this season, but I have no idea why I’m rooting for Marnie and Ray. This is a girl who went over to his house to have sex, was barged in on by her friend, and screamed “He made me!” Earlier in this episode, while leaving a Brooklyn coffee shop with Spike Jonze (da fuq?), she called him “Ray Ray.” This thing seems doomed, and we should all be rooting against it (in part because Marnie is a mostly-unlikable character), but I bet most people who watched the finale would be rooting for it. Odd, right?
  • So people are growing up: Girls isn’t really a sitcom, but it can play like a sitcom in parts. If you look at the most successful sitcoms of the last 20-30 years, they’re all about groups of friends who undergo a journey together. Think about it: Friends, HIMYM, etc. (The qualities we look for in dramas are different, but even those apply to Girls.) The clear “hit you over the head with it” moment of Season 4 is that people are growing up: Jessa will be a therapist, Marnie is “getting it” about relationships and career, Shosh is headed to Japan, and Hannah finally rejected Adam. (She finally learned to say no!) That’s what we’re supposed to learn from it. I think.
  • Jason Ritter: His character has Hamptons friends and he says shit like “I’m close to loving you?” I’d break up with him.
  • Aidy Bryant: She appeared in the season finale of both Girls and Broad City, two oft-compared shows. Her star is on the rise.
  • Laird’s crying was not believable: Laird is a mostly “Who gives a fuck?” character, IMHO.
  • Gabby Hoffman is pretty awesome: If you take this show, Trans-Parent, and Obvious Child together … Gabby Hoffman is a baller.

  • The arc of these characters is fairly reasonable: I lived in NYC during a lot of the same age ranges these characters are living there. I did a lot of stupid shit and regressed as a potential adult; some stories are here and here. I wouldn’t say I’m currently an adult, but I’m getting closer. (Yesterday, for example, I reorganized a section of my apartment. That’s some shit, right?) Point is: the journey takes time. It’s cool to see shows that reflect the journey and the time it takes. (And in reality, I know many 50 year-olds who aren’t really “adult” either.)

So, all that said, what are we looking at when Season 5 eventually debuts?

  • We need some role for Adam. This show without Adam loses 2-3 notches, easily.
  • Marnie and Ray try to make it work?
  • Fran and Hannah try to make it work but it becomes too co-dependent?
  • Desi comes back promising to be a better person?
  • Shosh struggles with balancing career and actual life as her newfound relationship falls apart?
  • Jessa starts sleeping with one of her patients?
  • One of Jessa’s patients is Chris O’Dowd, the banker she married for a while?
  • Something about “Ace” and “Mimi-Rose?”
  • Hannah’s mom leaves her dad for their couples friend neighbors?
  • Etc, etc.

I would personally think Girls can run about six seasons total; after that, I feel like it might start to kind of collapse — and most HBO shows don’t seem to go 7-10 years, honestly. (The Sopranos is probably the notable exception.) That said, I’m sure this thing is making Lena Dunham a bunch of money (as well as the other people associated with it), and it can be hard to reinvent yourself after you closely align with a character in Hollywood, so they may ride this thing into the dust.

Any thoughts on the Girls Season 4 finale or Season 4 in general? Leave ’em.

Ted Bauer


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